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Akrafo Luxury Organic and Natural Condiments Made In Africa

The SWAADY Group, creators of the luxury tea brand YSWARA, have created Akrafo a range of luxury premium organic artisanal teas, and gourmet sweet and savoury condiments ethically made in Africa. The name Akrafo refers to the soul-washers of the ancient Ashanti kingdom, who were responsible for the well-being of the community. And it is this spirit of looking out for others that is instilled into the Akrafo ethos, which upholds the SWAADY Group’s Luxe Ubuntu philosophy, of creating luxury brands with a social responsibility.

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YSWARA Brings Their Elegant Tearoom Experience To Ghana

  The launch of luxury tea brand YSWARA’s Johannesburg tearoom has been joined by the opening of one in Accra, Ghana. The YSWARA tearoom and boutique is part of a collaborative space shared with local retailer Luxury Living and Akrafo, YSWARA’S sister brand of gourmet condiment’s, bringing gourmet and interior decor experience to the city’s stylish residents.  

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YSWARA Unveils A Tranquil Tearoom To Savour Precious African Teas

  There is nothing I love more than a good cup of tea, the stronger the better. Anytime is teatime as far as I am concerned, so you can only imagine what I think about those who take their tea as seriously as I do. Like YSWARA for instance, the luxury tea brand championing made in Africa, who are reviving the ceremony of ancient African tea drinking rituals with its offering of specially blended teas and accompanying accessories. And now you can immerse yourself fully in the YSWARA brand experience with the launch of their flagship tearoom and store in […]

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Modern Mauritian Food Shelina Permalloo Master Chef UK Winner

A chef who brings ‘…bring[s] sunshine to a plate’ is how Gregg Wallace and John Torode, the judges of Masterchef UK described 2012 winner Shelina Permalloo’s cooking of modern Mauritian food. British-born of Mauritian descent Shelina was inspired to cook by her mum and aunty, developing a love of food at a young age as she helped her Mum with the cooking. Having grown-up in the UK Shelina also credits food with helping her to better understand her Mauritian heritage and culture, saying it makes her feel closer to Mauritius, her heritage and her family. Throughout the competition Shelina brought her Mauritian heritage into her […]

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Caranda Soothing Speciality Teas Inspired By Africa

A longing for the familiar tastes of home led Liberian entrepreneur, Doughba Caranda-Martin to set up Caranda Fine Foods, a business that specialises in creating a range of premium beverages and condiments inspired by the diverse regions of the African continent. Residing in the USA, Doughba recalls childhood memories of evening walks collecting the leaves and herbs that were then boiled with Lemongrass. Doughba started out blending teas inspired by Africa and the product range has since expanded to include coffees, cocoas and condiments like flavoured salts and meat rubs.

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Modern African Food Kitchens Of Africa Cooking Sauces

There is nothing wrong with slow cooking, in fact it can be an enjoyable experience as you mix, stir, season and simmer in anticipation of savouring your culinary efforts. Unfortunately in the face of hectic schedules, reality bites and slow cooking is just not possible night after night with so many other things competing for your time prompting the turn to convenience food. Convenience food has its pros, meals in minutes and it’s cons, a reputation of nasty additives, flavour enhancers and preservatives. However, the availability of pre-prepared foods like sauces can be an introduction to the tastes of other […]

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Ndali Intense Fairtrade Vanilla Extract From Uganda

I love the taste and smell of vanilla; and find creamy vanilla ice-cream, the kind where you can just see the bean flecks, and light fluffy sponges made with real vanilla extract irresistible and comforting. Good quality vanilla bean pod sticks, extract and paste is valued by bakers and chefs looking to add that familiar rich flavour and intense aroma to their culinary creations. One brand favoured by some of the UK’s leading chefs is Ndali fairtrade vanilla, which comes from a 1000-acre farm located in the midst of the explosion craters of the Ndali Volcanic Field in Western Uganda; and is a […]

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Akhaya Cookery School Modern African Cooking And Food

New to African cooking or simply want to try your hand at creating dishes from another part of the continent, then look to Akhaya Cookery School to help you on your way. I was watching a recent episode of CNN’s Inside Africa when I saw a profile on young Nigerian entrepreneur Jennifer Okpapi and the African cooking classes she runs in Tottenham, North London based on her love for African food.

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Madécasse Luxury Single Source African Made Chocolate

Pink pepper and citrus, exotic pepper, and sea salt and nibs are just some of the rather interesting flavour combinations you will find in a Madécasse African made chocolate bar. Recently named ‘one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies’ by Fast Company magazine, Madécasse is on a mission to revolutionise the African chocolate industry by becoming one of the few fine chocolate companies to produce a bar that is not only grown in Africa, but is also produced in Africa. The stats on the website highlight the fact that although Africa produces 70% of the world’s cocoa, actual African made chocolate production amounts […]

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Paradise Coffee The Finest African Coffee Beans

Based in Kyiv, Ukraine; Kyiv Coffee Factory brings you a carefully selected range of the world’s best coffee including African coffee beans. The coffee is marketed under the brand name Paradise and comes beautifully packaged, it was through the packaging showcased on African Digital Art where I was introduced to the brand. Included in their offerings are some of the finest African coffee beans from: Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi and Uganda.

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Irresistible Delectable Cupcakes In A Jar From G desserts

[Image credit: G Desserts] My sister is an avid baker often conjuring up the most delectable treats, so one day a few weeks ago whilst watching her whip up a batch of cupcakes I mused the rise and rise of the cupcake, and where they could possibly go next… so imagine my delight when I came across a Daily Candy London posting on a simple yet ingenious idea of encasing exquisite looking cupcakes in a jar brought to you by Gillian Boateng of G Desserts.. [Image credits: G Desserts] The idea was one born out of practicality – as a busy mum, keeping the […]

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Modern African Cuisine From Top Chef Marcus Samuelsson

[Image credits: abcnews.com recipes: salad and dessert] Ethiopian born, Swedish raised and now living in Harlem, top chef Marcus Samuelsson certainly has a lot of influences to bring to his culinary creations and has been praised for his development of modern African cuisine and introducing innovative interpretations to classic Swedish dishes and quality of flavours and textures his food possesses.

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Divine Chocolate Made With Fair Trade Ghanaian Cocoa

[Image credits: Divine Chocolate] Fairtrade packaging has often meant a palette of natural earthy colours and utilising materials like hemp, sisal and handmade paper as a way of giving added credibility to the principles of the product, and whilst there is nothing wrong with this products can end up looking samey-samey when vying for our attention on the store shelf. Eliciting comments like ‘It is refreshing to see a fair trade product packaged as beautifully as this’ (Lovely Package, 2009) and ‘…elegant packaging makes them the perfect gift’ (the Guardian Eco Store), Divine Chocolate made with fair trade Ghanaian cocoa is a brand I fell […]

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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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  • Colourful basketry, soulful sculpture and an elegant candle make a nice placeholder we think, as we prepare to usher in a new chapter of the Atelier Fifty Five journey. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive